Shenandoah Downs to Usher In its First Spring Harness Meet April 1

(WOODSTOCK, VA — 12/19/2022) —- Dates for the first ever spring harness racing season at Shenandoah Downs were approved by the Virginia Racing Commission last week at its fall meeting. A seven-week meet will start April 1 and continue thru May 14 with racing every Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM. Holiday racing will take place on Easter Sunday and on Mothers Day.

Harness action in Woodstock is nestled between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountain ranges. Quenton Egan photo.

Racing/stall applications can be accessed beginning February 1 at and will be due by February 28. A pair of spring Late Closers — the Blue Ridge Pacing Series and Alleghany Trotting Series — will be announced in the racing applications. The barn area will open on Wednesday March 29 with approximately 250 stalls available. Qualifiers will be held on March 25, the Saturday before opening day. 

Santa Claus arrived via horse drawn sulky on closing weekend of the 2022 fall meet. Quenton Egan photo.

The only other time spring racing has been held in the Commonwealth was in 1998 when Colonial Downs ushered in pari-mutuel standardbred racing at its one-turn mile facility in New Kent.    

Moving forward in 2023, a four-day non-wagering meet will again be held during the 106th Shenandoah County Fair, from August 30 – September 2. Racing will take place at 12 Noon Wednesday thru Saturday of fair week.  

Driver Tyler Shehan was quite pleased with his pacer’s performance at Shenandoah Downs.

The eighth anuual Shenandoah Downs fall pari-mutuel meet will follow and run seven weeks, from September 16 – October 29 — pending Virginia Racing Commission approval. That meet will mirror the spring schedule, with racing on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 PM. 

Dates for the 26th Virginia Breeders’ Championships for 2 and 3-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes will be announced in January.      

Details on all events can be found at